In some areas or small towns memories seem to last longer so that someone in town may actually know if a street name that is the same as your family name was connected to your family or if the local Banes are related to your Baynes. There may be no one still living in Mercer named Mercer or descended from the original Mercer family. Or early families names may still be common in the local telephone directory or city directory.
So I guess that was on my mind when I read this scripture this morning: "Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake."*
How often do I really think about the name of God? Yet I have never said a prayer or breathed a prayer when God was too busy or uninterested or hostile. Just saying one of God's names: I AM, Jehovah, God of Light, God of Joy, Redeemer, Savior, Comforter, Messiah, Adonai, or El-Shaddai reminds me that I am not alone -- that all is well with my soul no matter how high the flood waters or the number of soldiers in the approaching army.
A delightful woman generously shared some of her life journey with our group this spring and one thing struck me so strongly. She said that at the darkest times her soul reached out for strength, comfort, help and she was blessed by the ability not only to survive but to function and to maintain relationships in the midst of chaos. It was only some time later as she came to know God that she recognized who had responded so generously to her needs, even though at the time the word "prayer" did not occur to her. How joyous she is that now she knows God's name and has a close relationship with Him, calling His name often with quiet confidence.
God loves you, longs to bring you comfort, hope, endurance, faith, joy, purpose, wisdom...in fact every good thing, before you do the smallest thing "for Him." Take a moment now to speak the deepest longings of your heart to the God who hears, cares and acts.
For You Name's sake, O God, deliver us, forgive us, redeem us, restore us, renew us that we might both trust You during dark days and call Your Name rejoicing as we find solace in You who is with us always and for us always. AMEN
* Psalm 79:9